teubner@wiktel.com 2014/08/21

I decided to turn the Orange Trike into a tilter.† I have over 5000 miles on the driveline and wanted to be able to clean up the aero by tucking the wheels inside the fairing.

How the trike works:
When the tilt is locked, it steers like a tricycle or car: if you want to go left, you turn left. When the tilt is unlocked, it steers like a bicycle or motorcycle: when you want to go left, you turn right to initiate the tilt.

I lock the tilt when stopping so I donít need to put my feet down (goal was to build a streamliner; I wouldnít be able to put my feet down). At this point it goes from steering like a bicycle to steering like a tricycle. When I launch, I go straight until I get to balance speed, then unlock the tilt. At this point it goes from steering like a tricycle to steering like a bicycle.

The perceived advantage I saw for using a disc brake for the tilt-lock was that it would positively unlock and I could stop with the trike level on a non-level surface.I lock the tilt at 5 mph or less. If it failed (locked) at speed it would be a dirty crash. Imagine 25 mph on your bicycle and the steering reverses. It also must positively unlock. The chances of a pin being wedged are high.

After 140 miles on the bare trike, I abandoned the project.† The tilter worked well, but it did not give the absolute stability I have become used to with the fixed axle.† I liked the tilterís narrow track for riding on the shoulder or getting through doorways.

The wheels brushed the back of my sleeves during travel, but never made contact with my arms.

This project was more expensive than I anticipated, since I have retired and no longer have access to the materials and machine shop at my employment.†

Source Description Price
McMaster-Carr Hardware (bushings, ball ends, shoulder bolts)


Ace Hardware


Discount Steel Raw material


Jerry Solom Machine shop and welding (13.25 hrs @ $35)




Plus, for how simple it looks, there are a surprising number of pieces in it.







Although difficult to quantify, the tilter seemed faster than the fixed axle trike.


Although, surprisingly, more sensitive to wind.† As a note, the trike with the shell loves sidewinds.


The pictures below make the functioning obvious.† I have 2-D cad drawings and BOM if anyone wants to duplicate the design.† As of this writing, the parts for the conversion are for sale.


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